What a night to be at the Grand Millenium. I arrived expecting to be part of an exciting evening that would rain hundreds of thousands down on the eight contestants of The Block NZ 2017.
I found my way to the media room, a horseshoe of tables seating a handful of journalists greeted me. At the front of the room a TV sat atop a stand, ready to broadcast the Grand Finale of The Block NZ.
I soon realised I was the only fool on the room without a laptop. Armed with only a notebook and an Auckland City Council pen I took my seat between a representative from Newshub and a freelance publicist.
I knew every media outlet would be reporting on the evening’s events so I decided I’d offer something different with a behind the scenes view from the media room. I started taking notes on the canapés (delicious by the way) and wrote down quotes from others in the room like “don’t put me in your terrible story.”
Then the broadcast started. As the season recap and Block Party footage played I started to get excited about the auction. I’d watched 54 hours of the show over the last three months and was giddy with the thought of liberty. I wasn’t just excited for myself though, I was looking forward to seeing the contestants enjoying the payoff for all their hard work.
In the last two seasons, the lowest profit was $123,000. With last year’s winners making a whopping $380,000, there was no reason to believe 2017’s Blockheads wouldn’t all walk away with smiles on their faces and a decent bank transfer pending.
The bidding stalled alarmingly early as Ling and Zing’s pride and joy struggled to reach reserve. I couldn’t believe it. My money was on the brothers for the win. After what seemed like forever, the bidding tiptoed over the line and the hammer fell with a profit of just $1000 for Ling and Zing.
It got worse from there with the Andy and Nate’s beloved House Two passing in at 1.2 million with negotiations to continue out of the room.
We were told the winners would be coming onto the media room at the conclusion of all the auctions. We were only halfway through but I wanted to run away. Whoever was taking this out would be feeling shattered for their Blockmates and I didn’t want to have to look into their sad eyes with my sad eyes.